Johnson admitted that the offense wasn't looking too sharp during the early portion of the teams' weeklong practices at West Virginia State. South assistant Jim Martin, the quarterbacks coach at Woodrow, was installing the Flying Eagles attack.
"At the beginning of the week,'' Johnson said, "I was getting frustrated because I'm used to having everything clicking right away. But then I had to remember I was with a whole new group of people and they don't know [the offense]. Coach told me to stick with it, and it worked out. He said Saturday night would be a way different story, and it was.''
Jordan, a four-year starter at quarterback for Buffalo and a late addition to the South squad last week at defensive back, wrapped up a personal triple crown of sorts, as he participated in the North-South baseball, basketball and football games this month.
On Saturday, besides his key interception, he batted down two other passes, had two tackles, was 5 of 5 on extra points, booted a 40-yard punt and even had a hand in a trick play on a conversion, throwing a 2-point pass to Zach Bennett (Richwood).
"I'm just blessed,'' Jordan said. "Give all the glory to God for letting me get out there and show my athleticism.''
Jordan said it took a while for the South defense to figure out a way to contain the elusive Clinton, who led Martinsburg to the Class AAA state title last season, the third straight for the Eastern Panhandle Bulldogs.
"We weren't very experienced with each other,'' Jordan said, "but it felt like we were brothers out there. We connected as a family. We had to stop Cookie. After my pick, it felt like we got things rolling. We finally got on the ball and started scoring.''
Clinton was voted as his team's MVP for his versatility.
He hit on his first three passes for 64 yards, including a 30-yard TD to Thane Cutter (Frankfort), and broke off a 13-yard gain on his first run. However, he finished just 4 of 15 passing for 77 yards with one pick and carried 18 times for a net of 45 yards. On kick returns, he brought back four kickoffs 99 yards and one punt 16 yards.
"I just told my team at the start of the game we knew we had to fight,'' Clinton said, "and everything fell into place. The snaps were good, the blocking was good. But I felt like we got too tired too quick. We didn't keep the momentum up. We didn't play to our potential the way we worked this whole week. I thought we just lost our momentum.''
Austin Ravenscroft (Keyser) led the North defense with 12 tackles (seven solo), including five stops for losses. Daryl Hicks (Ripley) paced the South defense with seven tackles (three unassisted), with 21/2 for losses.
Play was halted for about 10 minutes in the second quarter when North defensive tackle Devan Collins of Elkins injured his leg. He was removed from the field on a gurney
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.